11 Public Libraries to Put On Your Bucket List

11 Public Libraries to Put On Your Bucket List

I love to travel and wish I could do it more often. My partner (also a book nerd) and I love visiting the local bookstores wherever we go, though I can only think of one library we’ve gone to on a tourism expedition. (And that was to the Cincinnati Public Library to see the book fountain.) Of course there are a ton of other libraries out there and we’re missing out!

Libraries have been around for centuries, holding unique collections that date back to as early as the 6th century. Not only do they hold historic items that are worth seeing in person, but the architectural interest of the libraries themselves will bring you back to a different time period. And some of these old libraries are still around.

Thanks to Oldest, who recently pulled together the top 11 public libraries that are invaluable to world history, my bucket list just got bigger.

[image description: 11 Public Libraries Invaluable to World History. Library at St. Catherine Monastery — South Sinai, Egypt. Built circa 548-565. Amount of books: 3,300 manuscripts in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian and Slavic. History: World’s second largest collection of early scrolls and manuscripts. UNESCO World Heritage site. Reopened in 2017 after a three year restoration. Khizanat Al Qarawiyyin — Fes, Morocco. Built circa 859. Amount of books: 4,000 rare texts and ancient Arabic manuscripts. History: World’s oldest library and operating university. Founded by Fatima al Fihria. Reopened in 2016 after a three year restoration. Raza Library — Rampur, India. Founded in 1774. Amount of books: 17,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, and Turkish; 80,000 additional books. History: One of the oldest and most important libraries in South Asia. Created by Nawab Faizullah Khan’s personal collection. The Tianyi Pavilion Library — Ningbo, China. Built in 1561. Amount of books: 300,000 ancient books and historical records, 80,000 are very rare. History: Third oldest private library in the world; open to the public. Created by Fan Qin. Royal Library of the El Escorial Monastery — San Lorenzo de el Escorial, Spain. Founded in 1563. Amount of books: 40 000 books and some 2 700 manuscripts from the 5C-18C. History: Operated as a monastery, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, school and hospital. Historical residence of the King of Spain. UNESCO World Heritage site. Created as a monument to the Spanish monarchs. Trinity College Library — Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1592. Amount of books: 5 million books, mostly held off campus, but available to order. History: A legal deposit library; holds a copy of every book printed in Ireland and the UK. Trinity alumni have access to the library after graduation. Biblioteca Palafoxiana — Puebla, México. Established in 1646. Amount of books: 45,000 rare books and manuscripts. History: Oldest library in the Americas. Declared a “Memory of the World” site by UNESCO. National Mexican Historic Landmark. Created by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza. The Clementinum Library Hall — Prague, Czech Republic. Opened in 1722. Amount of books: 20,000 books dating back to 880. History: Rare books were given to Google to be made available online. A functioning part of the Clementinum University. Stiftsbibliothek Admont — Admont, Austria. Completed in 1776. Amount of books: 70,000 volumes — 1,400 are highly valuable manuscripts from the 8th century and 530 are books printed before 1500. History: Largest monastery library hall in the world. Built by Josef Hueber. Visitors can explore the library without a guide. Real Gabinete Português de Leitura — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Built in 1837. Amount of books: 350,000 books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. History: Receives a copy of every work published in Portuguese. State Library of New South Wales — Sydney, Australia. Built in 1845. Amount of books: Holds over 5 million items in its collection. History: Oldest library in Australia. First public library of New South Wales. Books document the heritage of Australia and Oceania.]

[image description: 11 Public Libraries Invaluable to World History. Library at St. Catherine Monastery — South Sinai, Egypt. Built circa 548-565. Amount of books: 3,300 manuscripts in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian and Slavic. History: World’s second largest collection of early scrolls and manuscripts. UNESCO World Heritage site. Reopened in 2017 after a three year restoration. Khizanat Al Qarawiyyin — Fes, Morocco. Built circa 859. Amount of books: 4,000 rare texts and ancient Arabic manuscripts. History: World’s oldest library and operating university. Founded by Fatima al Fihria. Reopened in 2016 after a three year restoration. Raza Library — Rampur, India. Founded in 1774. Amount of books: 17,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, and Turkish; 80,000 additional books. History: One of the oldest and most important libraries in South Asia. Created by Nawab Faizullah Khan’s personal collection. The Tianyi Pavilion Library — Ningbo, China. Built in 1561. Amount of books: 300,000 ancient books and historical records, 80,000 are very rare. History: Third oldest private library in the world; open to the public. Created by Fan Qin. Royal Library of the El Escorial Monastery — San Lorenzo de el Escorial, Spain. Founded in 1563. Amount of books: 40 000 books and some 2 700 manuscripts from the 5C-18C. History: Operated as a monastery, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, school and hospital. Historical residence of the King of Spain. UNESCO World Heritage site. Created as a monument to the Spanish monarchs. Trinity College Library — Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1592. Amount of books: 5 million books, mostly held off campus, but available to order. History: A legal deposit library; holds a copy of every book printed in Ireland and the UK. Trinity alumni have access to the library after graduation. Biblioteca Palafoxiana — Puebla, México. Established in 1646. Amount of books: 45,000 rare books and manuscripts. History: Oldest library in the Americas. Declared a “Memory of the World” site by UNESCO. National Mexican Historic Landmark. Created by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza. The Clementinum Library Hall — Prague, Czech Republic. Opened in 1722. Amount of books: 20,000 books dating back to 880. History: Rare books were given to Google to be made available online. A functioning part of the Clementinum University. Stiftsbibliothek Admont — Admont, Austria. Completed in 1776. Amount of books: 70,000 volumes — 1,400 are highly valuable manuscripts from the 8th century and 530 are books printed before 1500. History: Largest monastery library hall in the world. Built by Josef Hueber. Visitors can explore the library without a guide. Real Gabinete Português de Leitura — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Built in 1837. Amount of books: 350,000 books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. History: Receives a copy of every work published in Portuguese. State Library of New South Wales — Sydney, Australia. Built in 1845. Amount of books: Holds over 5 million items in its collection. History: Oldest library in Australia. First public library of New South Wales. Books document the heritage of Australia and Oceania.]

Have you been to any of these libraries? Did you add any to your bucket list? Tell me in the comments below!

 
What Silent Book Club is Reading This Month: December 2018

What Silent Book Club is Reading This Month: December 2018